EU Member States and international obligations

The standards, procedures and institutions that ensure human and fundamental rights in the EU, or what could be called the EU’s fundamental rights landscape, is a multi-layered system, covering local, national and international organisations, the last of which include the EU itself, the Council of Europe and the United Nations (UN).

The list below describes the latest developments in a number of core international obligations that the EU and its Member States have taken on, as updated on 1 January 2015. Each heading is a link to a page where the full data can be found.

The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) entered into force on 1 August 2014.

Following the ratification of the Convention by Denmark, France, Malta, Spain and Sweden in 2014, there are now 23 EU Member States which have signed the Convention and, of these, 8 have also ratified it since its adoption in 2011.

In 2014, Poland became the last of the 28 EU Member States to ratify Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances.

In 2014, Luxembourg ratified the Convention on Cybercrime, becoming the 24th Member State to be party to the convention.

No new acceptances for 2014.

15 EU Member States have adapted their ratification of the European Social Charter (ESC) since 2000, with 4 Member States adopting new provisions in the past 5 years.

  • Conformity of national law and practice with European Social Charter provisions

In 2014, the European Committee on Social Rights (ECSR) focussed its yearly report on labour rights and found that 7 Member States conformed to fewer than 25% of the 481 provisions in the thematic group while 8 Member States conformed to more than 40% of the 481 provisions in the thematic group.

The ECSR found that the 27 examined EU Member States conformed to 33% of the 481 examined provisions, following it's 2014 inspection of labour rights.

In its 2014 inspection of ESC labour rights, the ECSR found that the United Kingdom had the highest percentage of non-conformity of total number of Charter provisions examined (77%: 10 out of 13) whilst Slovenia had the lowest percentage of non-conformity (9%: 2 out of 23)

The number of applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) per 10,000 inhabitants has decreased in 2014 and is now at its lowest level in the past five years at an average of 0.79 applications per 10,000 inhabitants across all 28 EU Member States (with a combined population of approximately 507 million inhabitants on 1 January 2014).

The ECtHR found that, of the 28 EU Member States, Croatia had the greatest number of applications to the Court per 10,000 inhabitants at 2.58 whilst the United Kingdom had the fewest at 0.11.

In 2014, 26,315 cases originating from EU Member States were pending before ECtHR judicial formations, dropping from 38,303 pending cases in 2013.

In 2014 a total of 421 ECtHR judgments involving one of the 28 EU Member States found at least one violation of ECHR rights, which was a decrease of 85 from the 506 comparable judgments in 2013.

The number of ECtHR judgments involving one of the 28 EU Member States finding a violation of Article 6, on the length of proceedings, dropped from 199 in 2013 to 98 in 2014. However, the number of judgments finding a violation of Article 3, inhuman or degrading treatment, increased from 59 to 89 in the same year.

The number of ECtHR judgments involving one of the 28 Member States finding a violation of Article 13, on the right to an effective remedy, dropped from 105 in 2013 to 71 in 2014.

In 2014 there was a total of 258 leading cases originating from one of the 28 Member States before the ECtHR which were pending for more than 5 years, an increase of 43 from the number in 2013.

The total amount of just satisfaction across all 28 EU Member States decreased dramatically from almost €90 million (89,004,356) in 2013 to just below €40 million (39,760,318) in 2014.

In 2014, the Czech Republic paid the lowest total amount of just satisfaction of all 28 EU Member States at €9,781, while Italy paid the highest at €29,540,589.

The average total payment of just satisfaction across all 28 EU Member States was €1,420,011 in 2014, compared to an average of €3,178,727 in 2013

The Third Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure entered into force on 14 April 2014.

Following the ratification of the Protocol in 2014 by Belgium and Ireland, and the signature by France, there are now 17 EU Member States which have signed the Protocol and of these 6 have also ratified it.

In 2014, Poland ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on the abolition of the death penalty, becoming the last of the 28 EU Member States to ratify the protocol.

In 2014, the Czech Republic ratified the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the UN Convention against transnational organized crime (Palermo Protocol), becoming the last of the 28 EU Member States to ratify the protocol.

In 2014, Estonia ratified the First Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, becoming the last of the 28 EU Member States to ratify the Protocol.

In 2014, the UN Treaty Bodies with competence to receive and consider individual communications or complaints found 9 cases of violations which were related to EU Member States (the Human Rights Committee identified four violations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Committee against Torture identified two violations each and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities identified one violation pertaining to EU Member States).

All EU Member States except Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In 2014, Denmark ratified the Optional Protocol to the CRPD, becoming the 21st EU Member State in this regard.

Downloads

Publication date: 24 June 2015

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2014 - FRA Annual report (3.02 MB)

Publication date: 02 June 2014

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2013 - Annual report 2013 (4.96 MB)